German Federal Archives / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Erwin Rommel

(German General)

15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944 (Aged 52)

Rommel was a highly respected and decorated German military leader, serving his country with distinction in both world wars.

In World War II, his exemplary leadership during the German campaign in North Africa earned him the nickname ‘Desert Fox’, as well as the respect of enemy soldiers.

Rommel was implicated in a plot to overthrow Hitler in July 1944, which saw Hitler receive only minor injuries from a bomb blast inside his ‘Wolf’s Lair’, in East Prussia, (now Poland).

After his support for the plot was reported to Hitler, Rommel was given the choice to either defend himself to Hitler or commit suicide by cyanide capsule. He chose the latter.

In a bid to preserve the esteem in which he was held, it was reported Rommel was killed from injuries sustained in an attack on his car.

His reputation grew after the war, with both sides praising his leadership and military skills.

Ida Tarbell


James E. Purdy / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

5 November 1857 – 6 January 1944 (Aged 86)

Tarbell was an American journalist, celebrated as a pioneer in the field of investigative journalism.

She is most noted for her work in uncovering the unfair practices of the Standard Oil Company.

This resulted in the Supreme Court breaking up the monopoly it had in the American oil industry.

Tarbell died of pneumonia at the age of 86.

In 2000, Tarbell was inducted posthumously into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.

Claus von Stauffenberg

(German Army Officer)

  Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944 (Aged 36)

Von Stauffenberg was a German officer, renowned as one of the main architects of what came to be known as Operation Valkyrie, a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

The plot failed after the bomb, planted by von Stauffenberg in the Wolf’s Lair, East Prussia, only caused minor injuries to Hitler.

The role played by von Stauffenberg was quickly uncovered, followed by a prompt arrest, and his execution by firing squad.

Eoin O’Duffy

(Irish Political Activist)

Harris & Ewing / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

30 October 1892 – 30 November 1944 (Aged 52)

O’Duffy was an Irish political activist, and one of the leaders of the Irish Republican Army during the Irish war of independence.

After the civil war, he went on to become the second commissioner of the Garda Síochána, the Irish police force=.

O’Duffy was also a founding member of the Fine Gael political party.

In his later years, O’Duffy became a staunch opponent of communism, going so far as to offer support to Franco’s forces in Spain, and to Nazi Germany in fighting the Soviet Union on the Eastern front.